Category Archives: Things I Read

The US of A has a huge security problem: poverty

 The United States Has a National-Security Problem—and It’s Not What You Think | The Nation … :

It’s time to rethink the American national security state with its annual trillion-dollar budget. For tens of millions of Americans, the source of deep workaday insecurity isn’t the standard roster of foreign enemies, but an ever-more entrenched system of inequality, still growing, that stacks the political deck against the least well-off Americans. They lack the bucks to hire big-time lobbyists. They can’t write lavish checks to candidates running for public office or fund PACs. They have no way of manipulating the myriad influence-generating networks that the elite uses to shape taxation and spending policies. They are up against a system in which money truly does talk—and that’s the voice they don’t have. Welcome to the United States of Inequality.

Right-Wing populists as “Revenge of places that don’t matter”

The revenge of the places that don’t matter | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal … :

Persistent poverty, economic decay and lack of opportunities cause discontent in declining regions, while policymakers reason that successful agglomeration economies drive economic dynamism, and that regeneration has failed. This column argues that this disconnect has led many of these ‘places that don’t matter’ to revolt in a wave of political populism with strong territorial, rather than social, foundations. Better territorial development policies are needed that tap potential and provide opportunities to those people living in the places that ‘don’t matter’.

Let’s make them pay for using our personal data

Basically what happens is that Google without your (explicit) confirmation collects all history of you search requests and sell it to another company. This happens not only with search requests but with almost everything. I’m pretty sure that your Uber’s trips, photos on Samsung cloud or liked songs are being collected, analyzed, formatted and eventually sold to other companies.

http://amortizedcost.net/make-them-pay-for-personal-data/

Opinion | Why Is America So Far Behind Europe on Digital Privacy? – The New York Times

Once again Europe just doesn’t realize how far ahead we are in some technical an economic and social things. Wake up, lady!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/08/opinion/sunday/privacy-congress-facebook-google.html

“G.D.P.R.establishes several privacy rights that do not exist in the United States — including a requirement for companies to inform users about their data practices and receive explicit permission before collecting any personal information. Although Americans cannot legally avail themselves of specific rights under G.D.P.R., the fact that the biggest global tech companies are complying everywhere with the new European rules means that the technocrats in Brussels are doing more for Americans’ digital privacy rights than their own Congress.

#toldyouso

Forward-thinking legislation — and the public hearings that would inform its passage — are urgently needed. Americans deserve a robust discussion of what privacy rights they are entitled to and strong privacy laws to protect them.”
(…)

Congress should seize the moment and the public momentum to enshrine digital privacy rights into federal law.

Solid by Tim Berners-Lee…

Solid is an exciting new project led by Prof. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, taking place at MIT. The project aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.

What does Solid offer? Solid (derived from “social linked data”) is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles. Solid is modular and extensible and it relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards and protocols.

Is the Internet becoming a dark forest?

 The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet – OneZero … :

Imagine a dark forest at night. It’s deathly quiet. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. But of course, it’s not. The dark forest is full of life. It’s quiet because night is when the predators come out. To survive, the animals stay silent. Is our universe an empty forest or a dark one? If it’s a dark forest, then only Earth is foolish enough to ping the heavens and announce its presence. The rest of the universe already knows the real reason why the forest stays dark. It’s only a matter of time before the Earth learns as well. This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest.

(…)

The internet of today is a battleground. The idealism of the ’90s web is gone. The web 2.0 utopia — where we all lived in rounded filter bubbles of happiness — ended with the 2016 Presidential election when we learned that the tools we thought were only life-giving could be weaponized too. The public and semi-public spaces we created to develop our identities, cultivate communities, and gain knowledge were overtaken by forces using them to gain power of various kinds (market, political, social, and so on). This is the atmosphere of the mainstream web today: a relentless competition for power. As this competition has grown in size and ferocity, an increasing number of the population has scurried into their dark forests to avoid the fray.